FIREFIGHTERS battled through the night to control a barn fire after it was believed to have been hit by lightning.

The barn contained machinery and approximately 30-50 tonnes of hay which was found to be 'well alight' when fire crews arrived on the scene, with assistance being provided by additional fire engines from outside the county.

Firefighters also worked hard to protect surrounding buildings from fire.

The fire brigade said the incident at Over Compton, north west Dorset, was reported to them at around 8.22pm yesterday. It took until the early hours of this morning to get the blaze under control.

A spokesman for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "At 20.22 reports were received of a barn fire in Over Compton.

"Three fire engines and a water carrier from Yeovil fire station initially attended. On arrival, crews found the barn to be heavily involved in fire and got to work setting up monitors.

"Crews also requested assistance of a foam appliance which came from Martock fire station.

"The fire was under control at 03:22 and was extinguished using one main line, one foam line, one hose reel and foam concentrate.

"Sherborne and Sturminster Newton fire stations also assisted further into the incident.

"It is believed that the incident was probably caused by a lightning strike."